Films remain a big part of the countdown to Christmas, with a third of Brits buying a festive TV guide as part of the start to their Christmas season. Although timeless classics and holiday shorts go on gracing the nation’s screens every December, the heated debate rages on: what is the best Christmas film?

New research conducted by Funky Pigeon brings the debate about the ultimate Christmas film to a conclusive end, as the leading online gift and greeting card company reveals the best festive films of all time.

The Best Christmas Film of All Time

Voted the number one Christmas film by both men and women in all regions of the UK, Home Alone (1990) is crowned as the ultimate Christmas film. Elf (2003), a much-loved favourite which also comes on every December, places second. British-made Love Actually (2003) only comes in 3rd, despite festive film-watchers mentioning the film a huge 693k times on Twitter.

  1. Home Alone (1990)
  2. Elf (2003)
  3. Love Actually (2003)
  4. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
  5. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  6. Die Hard (1988)
  7. The Polar Express (2004)
  8. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  9. Gremlins (1984)
  10. Arthur Christmas (2011)

Top 10 Non-Christmassy Christmas Films

Cross-referencing various data points – including rankings, ratings and worldwide box office figures, over the past four decades – Funky Pigeon can definitively say Die Hard IS a Christmas film. Ranked as a keen favourite among men of all ages (after Home Alone), the film tops the list of Non-Christmassy Christmas films. Marvel’s Iron Man 3 places in fourth, while 80s film Gremlins comes in 7th.

  1. Die Hard (1988)
  2. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  3. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  4. Iron Man 3 (2013)
  5. Trading Places (1983)
  6. Lethal Weapon (1987)
  7. Gremlins (1984)
  8. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
  9. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  10. Batman Returns (1992)

Jumanji (1995) narrowly misses out on the top 10, but with a short Christmas scene at the end, the 90s film starring Robin Williams would come in 11th place.

Best Christmas Animation

Suitable for the whole family, Christmas animations are a staple watch in most households. However, there aren’t as many to choose from. Despite Frozen songs being played in supermarkets every year, according to Funky Pigeon’s research, it is not actually a Christmas film.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, which also doubles up as a Halloween film, is crowned number one ahead of more ‘traditional’ Christmas films – such as Arthur Christmas and the newest film on the list, Dr Seuess’ The Grinch.

  1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
  2. Arthur Christmas (2011)
  3. The Polar Express (2004)
  4. Dr Seuess’ The Grinch (2018)
  5. A Christmas Carol (2009)

Most Popular Films on Christmas Day

While most films about Christmas or with Christmas references are perfect for the whole of December, there are only a handful that people talk about most on Christmas Day.

In order of social popularity, data from Funky Pigeon, from 2019, has found A Christmas Story (1983) was the most spoken about film on December 25th across social media – mentioned 56.9k times on Christmas Day.

  1. A Christmas Story (1983)
  2. Die Hard (1988)
  3. A Christmas Carol (2009)
  4. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)
  5. Bad Santa (2003)
  6. The Holiday (2006)
  7. Batman Returns (1992)
  8. Scrooged (1988)
  9. Lethal Weapon (1987)
  10. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
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